To review, a professional range is a stove with high output BTU burners in a commercial appearance. They are available in all-gas or dual fuel with electric convection ovens.
Regular gas ranges will have at least one professional style burner. The professional range will have all high output burners and at least two burnerswith a very low simmer.
Updated for 2014
Jenn-Air: Jenn-Air was best known for downdraft ranges and cooktops then languished after being purchased by Maytag. New parent Whirlpool has invested 300 million dollars in wall ovens and this range. Suddenly, Jenn-Air is relevant again with some really cool features and aggressive rebates.
Thermador: Thermador was known for their wall ovens and cooktops before languishing in the early 1990s. In 1997, Bosch acquired Thermador and turned the company around. Thermador is another brand with aggressive rebates.
Viking: Viking started the professional range segment in 1987 and still has a decent, yet sometimes struggling offering. I like Viking, but they were late to innovate their product line. They were just acquired by Middleby, makers of TurboChef, in January 2013. I like where the company will go (hopefully sooner than later).
Wolf: Wolf was independent until being purchased and rejuvenated by Sub-Zero in the late 1990s. It is still considered state of the art in the industry due to its twin convection powered oven.
All these ranges are manufactured in the USA. Each has its features and reasons to buy The ranges are all gas. They are available in dual fuel with electric ovens as well. Let's look.
The Best 30 inch Professional Ranges (click here for 48 inch):
- Jenn-Air JGRP430WP - $3,999: Jenn-Air has retooled their cooking and has started to manufacture a great professional range. This range has two 20,000 BTU burners, an advanced interactive LCD clock and twin convection oven. Jenn-Air also offers a free dishwasher with the purchase of this range
- Thermador PRG304GH - $4,149: Thermador is known for its star burners with even heat distribution and extremely low simmer. The Thermador can simmer at an unbelievable 100°. It turns on and off intermittently to achieve this temperature. Thermador will also be offering a free dishwasher (to combat Jenn-Air) as well as a free hood promotion with other qualifying purchases.
- Viking VGIC5304BSS - $4,599: Viking is the original professional range. They actually offer five different professional ranges in the 30 inch size including dual fuel, induction, gas convection, self-cleaning and non-self-cleaning (for a description of the differences, read this post). They also have a free dishwasher promotion.
- Wolf GR304 - $4,569 - Wolf has the dual stacked burners for a really good simmer on each burner. There is also up to $2,500 in rebates with other combined purchases with Sub-Zero.
Which do you buy?
That really depends on what you like. From a price/feature standpoint, Jenn-Air, Viking and Thermador are great value both with free dishwashers and under $4400.
Jenn-Air is more powerful with 2 20,000 BTU outputs and 2 15,000. Thermador is all 18,000, Viking has one 18,0000 BTU burner and the rest 15,000. Wolf has all 15,000 BTU burners. Jenn-Air also has a better clock and timer mechanism, which is actually a 7 inch LCD screen. Thermador and Wolf will have a better simmer.
Jenn-Air is the only company offering self cleaning in an all gas model. Every company features self cleaning in their dual fuel ranges
You would think high to low would be an easy comparison, but its not. Thermador is the lowest with temperatures as low as 100 degrees. It is, however, an intermittent or on/off simmer. Wolf has a consistent simmer at a higher temperature of 500 degrees with asmaller burner of 375 degrees
Thermador is one of the Yale top 7 most reliable brands. Wolf and Jenn-Air would be next
Download the Yale Pro Range Buyers Guide with features, specs and inside buying tips to all the major brands. Over 50,000 people have read a Yale Guide